A few weeks ago I wrote here about some of the health issues I’ve been dealing with lately.
As a general update, every week I’m feeling better and getting healthier. I plan to provide more specific results after the New Year.
Since my first post on these health issues, I’ve received many well wishes of encouragement.
Below is an e-mail that stood out because it came from a blogger buddy of mine who’s living in Paraguay with his family.
I wanted to share Ken’s e-mail because it was such a kind gesture of encouragement and inspiration.
It’s posted below with his permission – also, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Ken’s blog.
After watching that video detailing your ER visit I wanted to drop you a line or two of encouragement.
You and I are about the same age and like you, I have some weddings I want to see and some grand kids yet to spoil.
In relating my story I have told folks that I was convicted (spiritually) over my (physical) health. The fact is I woke one morning and looked at myself through new eyes.
I wasn’t getting any younger and I wasn’t getting any thinner.
As for health issues I had none save my girth.
I am 6′ 3″ tall but I weighed in between 325 and 330 lbs.
No high blood pressure, no diabetes, no cholesterol trouble and no joint pain – yet.
I started that day to change the odds of my future in favor of my kids and my wife.
I began eating and training like a body builder, sans the steroids, but with the discipline both in the gym and in the kitchen.
During the following 9 months I lost 95 lbs. and untold inches.
My body fat percentage went from Queso Fundido to nearly a Speedo – sorry that was my rap roots coming out
It was such a lifestyle change that led to me earning a certification as a personal trainer.
I continued to train and maintain my health until we moved to Paraguay. Once here there just wasn’t a gym to go to so I modified my habits to accommodate that.
A year later we moved into a little town that had a “gym.”
The owner would print out Internet pictures of weight training equipment and took them to the local welding shop as a guide.
Still I couldn’t complain and worked weights back into my routine.
It was during this time I found I had a bad aortic valve.
It had never presented itself before and I later discovered that it is very common within our age group to identify the leaky valve a bit later in life.
I then went through the long list of testing you described. My stress test was cut super short because my heart beat became so arrhythmical.
Ironically, I didn’t feel a thing.
In the end I had the valve changed and have made a full physical recovery.
However, the moral of my personal story is that had I not lost the weight years earlier and made those drastic lifestyle change – I likely would have died from this condition.
I am not suggesting our situations are the same.
I am celebrating that you didn’t discover any other, more serious, problems.
As I said, I have made a full physical recovery but the mental and spiritual side of it has been a little more difficult. I discovered I am no longer invincible.
I know this sounds cheesy coming from an Internet friend but I am here if you wish to “talk.” I don’t have the answers necessarily but I do have experience.
Ken and I have never met in person, but his kind email touched me – and it’s just another example of how this silly little blog I write has resulted in a connection that’s been both humbling and encouraging.